Pediatric CPR Guidelines: First Aid Essentials for Parents

Learn to do Pediatric CPR

Disclaimer: The content contained in this blog is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Click here for our full disclaimer poilcy. Disclosure: This content may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission on items purchased through links. Thank you for your support! Click here for our full terms.

image of hands on bare chest

Parents need to act quickly if their child becomes unconscious. Review and understand pediatric CPR guidelines today! It could save your child’s life.

Performing CPR on your child is an incredibly scary thought. No one wants to think about the possibility of their child needing CPR, but if you ever need to do it, you want to be prepared.

There is no substitute for proper training; if you’re able to, I highly recommend taking a class from the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.  But, emergencies wait for no one. So it’s better to have a basic understanding of the steps to take than have no training at all.

Keep in mind, if the situation gets scary and you completely forget what to do, 911 operators are trained to give you step by step directions.

There’s a First Aid Essentials cheat sheet in the toolkit grab yours today!

Pediatric CPR Guidelines

Use these steps on children younger than 8:

1. Try to Wake the Child

Gently tap or shake the child’s shoulders and call out his or her name in a loud voice- be a little forceful, but not enough to hurt the child. You’re worried they’re unconscious.

If the child does not wake up, have someone call 911 immediately.

If you are home alone and the child is not breathing, continue to step 3 and do CPR for about 2 minutes before calling 911. You don’t know how long the child has been without oxygen. Doing 2 minutes of CPR circulates blood.

2. Begin chest compressions

Place one hand on the breastbone directly between the child’s nipples. Push straight down about 2 inches — or about a third of the thickness of the child’s chest — and then let the chest all the way back up. Do that 30 times, about twice per second.

If you’ve taken a CPR class and you remember how to give rescue breaths, go to step 3. If not, just keep doing and go to step 4.

3. Give the child two breaths

Cover the child’s mouth with your mouth and pinch his nose closed with your fingers. Gently blow until you see his chest rise. Let the chest back down — and give one more breath.

If no air goes in, adjust the child’s head and try again. If that doesn’t work, then skip it and go back to chest compressions (step 2).

4. Keep doing CPR and call 911 after 2 minutes

If you are by yourself, keep doing CPR for 2 minutes (about five rounds of compressions) before calling 911. If someone else is there or comes along as you are doing CPR, have that person call 911. Don’t stop performing CPR until help arrives or the child wakes up.

Even if the child wakes up, you need to call 911 any time you had to do CPR.

Tips for Pediatric CPR Guidelines

  1. When checking for breathing, if you’re not sure then assume the child isn’t breathing. It’s much worse to assume a kid is breathing and do nothing.
  2. If you’re doing chest compressions correctly, you will feel and hear the ribs crack/break. DO NOT FREAK OUT AND DO NOT LET THIS STOP YOU. Broken ribs will heal.
  3. If someone else calls 911, make sure you tell them why they are calling. If not, they may not tell the dispatcher exactly what’s going on.
  4. If the dispatcher knows a child isn’t breathing or responding, the dispatcher may be able to give you instructions to help. If you call, be calm and listen carefully.
  5. Sing the tune of ‘stayin alive’ in your head while giving chest compressions. It’ll help you hit the target rate of 100-120 compressions/minute.
  6. Completely release the chest after each compression. Your hands shouldn’t bounce. You should lift your entire body weight off the child in between each compression. This ensures that the heart can completely empty and fill with each compression.

There’s a First Aid Essentials cheat sheet in the toolkit grab yours today!

Parents need to act quickly if their child goes unconscious. Review and understand pediatric CPR guidelines today! It could save your child's life.

Why Behind some of the Pediatric CPR Guidelines

You’re acting as the body’s heart and lungs until they’re able to work on their own. Compressions are like beats of the heart and rescue breaths are like deep breaths.

Chest Compressions

Compressing the chest moves blood throughout the body. It keeps the brain alive until the heart can get started again.

Rescue Breathing

Rescue breathing has become one of the most controversial steps in CPR. The debate is ongoing about how much is enough (or too much) and whether it’s even necessary. If you do perform rescue breaths, make sure you know how to do it right.

Pediatric CPR Training

Taking time to attend a CPR class is essential, but it’s not always feasible. In this video, I explain a great alternative to a conventional CPR class!


What do you think? Doesn’t seem like a bad idea!

American Heart Association CPR Anytime Kits


Check out more from the First Aid Essentials Series!

Save a Choking Child

When to Call 911

Until Next time! Chrissie

Claim Your Free Kids Health Handbook Instantly

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.
    Powered By ConvertKit

    1 thought on “Learn to do Pediatric CPR”

    1. Thank you for explaining that if you do chest compressions correctly, you will feel and hear the ribs crack. This is good to know, because you don’t want that to shatter your composure so that you can’t save a child’s life. I’ll have to look more into pediatric CPR so I’m prepared.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *